Murfreesboro declares “State of Emergency” amid COVID-19 outbreak

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland issued an order on Saturday, March 21st, 2020, declaring a local “State of Emergency” for the City of Murfreesboro in response to COVID-19. The order went into effect at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening. 

This Order, among other things:

  • Orders that establishments whose primary business is alcohol service or food service (other than pick-up, take-out, delivery, or drive-through service) within the City of Murfreesboro close for on-site consumption, effective at 12:00 a.m. Monday, March 22, 2020, and shall remain closed for on-site consumption until the Order is withdrawn;
  • Orders all gyms and exercise and fitness facilities within the City of Murfreesboro close effective at 12:00 a.m. on Monday, March 22, 2020, and shall remain closed until this Order is withdrawn;
  • Declares that the City, to the extent possible and provided by law, shall follow CDC guidance as it relates to COVID-19, and specifically authorizes the City Manager to take reasonably necessary steps to limit person-to-person public access to City offices and facilities and to develop and implement alternative work arrangements and schedules to protect City employees during this pandemic;
  • Suspends certain procedures and formalities otherwise required under the Murfreesboro City Code or Tennessee law pertaining to how the City conducts its operations;
  • Encourages all members of the public and businesses to follow and comply with guidelines and directives issued by the federal CDC as well as the Tennessee and Rutherford County departments of health; and
  • Encourages all members of the public to remain calm, to resist panic purchasing, consider their neighbors who have need, and to look after and help those most at risk to this pandemic to include the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems.

The Mayor issued the order to special emergency powers granted to local governments to state law and follows three Executive Orders issued by Governor Bill Lee in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While Rutherford County only has 5 confirmed cases by the Tennessee Health Department, we need to be proactive to stop the spread and save lives, so I am taking strong action ahead of additional cases,” said Mayor Shane McFarland. “Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of our citizens.”

Mayor McFarland added “We want to make sure our residents and employees are safe as we work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide essential services, follow CDC guidelines and adhere to recommendations of Governor Lee and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). As I have previously told Council, we have fought significant challenges in this City before. I’m confident we will get through this with the help of skilled healthcare providers, courageous first responders, and diligent City staff.”

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST for every county other than Davidson. Information for Davidson comes from the Metro Public Health Department.)


Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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